China to protect Irish whiskey from fakes
China has struck a deal with EU negotiators to give Irish whiskey and cream liqueur legal protection for the first time from fakes and other falsely labelled spirits.
Yesterday's agreement was part of a wider EU-China pact to give 100 European region-specific products official recognition, with an identical number of Chinese goods receiving the same protection in EU markets.
EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan called it "a win for both parties, strengthening our trading relationship, benefiting our agricultural and food sectors, and consumers".
Mr Hogan took part in the Beijing ceremony alongside Chinese president Xi Jinping and French president Emmanuel Macron.
China's imports of EU agri-food goods reached €12.8bn in the 12 months to August.
Some 9pc of those goods have legally defined 'geographical indications', including Irish whiskey and cream liqueur labels.
Irish Whiskey Association head William Lavelle said the deal "protects and promotes authenticity and will grow sales". He said it would "give Irish whiskey producers the confidence to invest in increased sales and marketing in China, knowing there is legal remedy to crack down on fake competitors".